Maugen-pattern armored cruiser
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The RCS-class armored cruiser was first commissioned when Covenant energy shielding technology was far more limited. An older class of cruiser, the class lacked both the firepower and robustness of the later Ket-pattern battlecruiser. The armored cruiser's primary roles are patrol and planetary occupation. Measuring 2,000 meters long, 1,000 meters wide, and 296 meters tall, it is the second-largest known cruiser of the former Covenant fleet, overshadowed only by the Varric-pattern heavy cruiser. Armed with plasma torpedo turrets, pulse laser point-defense cannons, and a ventral energy projector, it is also outfitted with a stasis enfolder system; this technology is presumably a much larger version of the stasis cannon used by the Bkowe'nei-pattern Vampire.
The "R", or Reverence, in the cruiser's three-letter classification code, "RCS", indicates that the cruiser is capable of conducting reconnaissance missions and is capable of excavating Forerunner artifacts. The "S", or Salvation, denotes that the RCS-class armored cruiser is a dedicated warship.
RCS-class armored cruisers served in the Covenant's fleet for centuries as the empire's primary "missionary and compliance" warship, having allegedly been in service when humanity was just making its first long-distance ocean voyages. However, the class was eventually supplanted by the more refined Ket-pattern battlecruiser. Many cruisers of the RCS class were broken down into feedstock for High Charity's Assembly Forges, being reformed and remade into new ships, vehicles, and armor to equip the Covenant military. The remaining vessels of this class were left as reserve vessels in the fleets of important Covenant colonies or transferred to distant reserve fleets to take on various utilitarian roles.
The RCS's use during the Human-Covenant War was largely overshadowed by the Ket-pattern battlecruiser, the mainstay of the fleet. At the dawn of the Great Schism, many armored cruisers played an important role in many remnant factions of the Covenant Empire. Following the end of the war, many surviving battlecruisers were commandeered by Kig-Yar scavengers or independent Sangheili factions. As a result, the RCS-class armored cruiser took on a more predominant role in Jul 'Mdama's Covenant. Several RCS-class cruisers were assigned to Jul 'Mdama's fleet occupying Requiem in February 2558, escorted by a much larger number of comparatively diminutive Zanar-pattern light cruisers. One was destroyed when the UNSC Infinity emerged from slipspace and rammed it. Another fled the shield world after 'Mdama set the planet on a collision course with the local star.
Halo: Fleet Battles
Armored cruisers were a warship classification used by European, American and Japanese navies during the late 19th and early 20th centuries that featured superior armor to their predecessors. Armored cruisers became obsolete with the introduction of better armed and faster battlecruisers in 1908, and smaller but just as well-armored light cruisers, though they would serve during World War I, with some surviving to serve in World War II. The history of the Covenant ship parallels the history of the real-life human class, being supplanted by the more advanced Ket-pattern battlecruiser.
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